New Publication




At a Special Board of Finance Meeting The mill rate for Fiscal Year 2018-19 was set at 29.39.
This represents an increase of 1.66% or .48 mills over the present fiscal year. 

Previously, the increase had been stated as 1.69, but there are various ways the Finance Board
can alter this (i.e. collection rate assumption, etc.).

Referendum Results

The FY'19 Town, School and Capital budgets all pass easily with 634  voting (32 absentee).

TOWN  -  498 Y  133 N
SCHOOL  -  456  Y   177  N
CAPITAL - 499  Y  131  N


ATBM APRIL 18, 2018. 8PM, WHS AUDITORIUM;  BRING I.D. - No quorum.

Budget Review Schedule FY'19:  http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/BUDGETREVIEWSCHEDULE2018-19FINALREV011818.pdf

  
CHARTER REVISION APPROVED NOV. 4, 2014.   GRAPHIC EXPLANATION BELOW...Think of the budget process as a big train...

L E A G U E   O F   W O M E N   V O T E R S   O F   W E S T O N





Draft#3 FY18Budget Process Schedule HERE
See above left for 2017
REFERENDUM 2016:  All three budgets pass: 
533 - 40 (Town); 
509 - 63 (School); 
526 - 47 (Capital). 
Post-ATBM Referendum voting + Referendum today = 575

According to our records, turnout was excellent compared to
three previous years:


In 2013 there were 364 votes at Referendum (no quorum at ATBM)

In 2014 there were 224 votes at Referendum (no quorum at ATBM)

In 2015 there was no quorum at ATBM and...Referendum brought approximately 259
voters out and a rejection of the school budget 127 "yes" to 132 "no."  So there was a
second Referendum, total voting 1001 - and the school budget passed 688 to 313
.

         
A.T.B.M. ATTENDANCE EXCEEDS QUORUM  NUMBER ANNOUNCED!  MAYBE EVER 200 VOTERS PRESENT!  (R) IN PROGRESS...
Meeting is held and bottom line is: no changes after 2 hour discussion of how to adjust for worst case scenario re: State of Connecticut budget problems coming home to affect Weston.
REFERENDUM APRIL 28, 12 noon to 8pm, Town Hall

BUDGET PROCESS VOTING DATES

THERE WAS A "FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING"... last year.

THE BUDGET PROCESS IS LIKE WATCHING A BIG TRAIN THAT IS PICKING UP SPEED...

OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC INPUT AND WHEN DURING BUDGET PROCESS:  The graphic ;

Know Your Town Directory COMES OUT IN ITS LATEST VERSION...AT SPEAK UP - so on February 27, 2016, a Saturday at Weston Library from 10:30am to 12 noon, you know "who's who" at SPEAK UP






Graphic Explanation of the Budget Process;  Written Budget Process FY'17 Dates.
RECTANGLES (6) show order of steps in the process, no public verbal input, for Town boards, to process end - which is a mandatory Referendum.

CIRCLES (3) indicate for public input by voice or vote;  FY'16 public input meetings/PH dates/Referendum.

"Bubbles" shown below rectangles and circles, with explanatory text - for the review processes at Selectmen and then Board of Finance, with this year's meeting dates;

"Dotted line" procedural moves in the event all or part of the Referendum is rejected by the voters and how the Board of Finance has the main role.
The same thing, but with text (note the larger-type explanation of ATBM above).  Either way you do the table, you still need a quorum of 130 for ATBM to act! 








FY'16 Budget Process
School Budget, Question #2 in the Referendum, fails - Yes 127, No 132, on April 30th...Referendum #2 only on Question #2 (#1 and #3 passes) scheduled for Saturday, May 16, 2015 in Town Hall Meeting Room from 9am to 5pm - 688-313.

   
Referendum #2 approves budget 688-313

REFERENDUM #2, 9am-5pm,  Saturday, Town Hall Meeting Room. Photo above:  Voter #1000
Listen to Moderator Bob Uzenoff call out the results here.

1001 votes total!!!  688 votes yes, 313 votes no. 
Out of 5844 voters plus 24 Grant List voters who wouldn't have been able to vote had they not
held the vote in Town Hall - new residents who's land records qualified them!

   
  

Now this is an impressive looking room, non-voters may be thinking...as they wait for Mom...after games,
it is time to do your civic duty. 





The League of Women Voters of Weston Reminds You of Your Role in the Town of Weston Budget Process.



REFERENDUM #1 - SCHOOL BUDGET GOES DOWN - WHAT DOES THE CHARTER SAY IS THE NEXT STEP?

2015 BUDGET REFERENDUM#1:  LISTEN TO THE RESULTS HERE







The First Selectman last year presented her budget to the Board of Selectmen Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015...click on Power Point:






BUDGET PROCESS FY'17 BEGINNING...QUORUM AT A.T.B.M. NOW A NUMBER - 130 (APPROVED NOV. 4, 2014).

  "Speak Up" February 27, 2016 - the budget train will already be "out of the station" and in the hands of the Board of Finance by then, according to the schedule!

The process becomes a matter for the Board of Finance to consider after the Board of Selectmen has made changes (or not) to the First Selectman's proposals for spending on the Town side, including the  Capital Budget.  The Selectmen can only suggest changes to the Education budget...

In televised reviews on the Town TV Channel 79 of both the Town and Education Budget, the Board of Finance takes in the presentations, asks for more backup, asks questions and then spends a long time studying the budgets "off-line" and out of public view. 

At the Board of Finance Public Hearing, two weeks or so before ATBM, detailed questioning of those who made up budgets for department expenses can be made by the public, but rarely are.  Maybe it is because no one really knows the detail of what the individual budgets include?  The lack of a quorum at the last two ATBMs has meant that no one actually has heard discussed by the public what is in the budget as recommended to ATBM before they go to a Referendum to vote "yes" or "no" on Town, School and Capital budgets.

The League of Women Voters of Weston pledges to inform Westonites on budget topics in the budget process in 2016!





HISTORY

Election 2014:  How many people have ever been at the polls to hear Election results called out?

Last minute change to format by...who?

REFERENDUM COMPLETED THURSDAY MAY 1, 2014 - BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 12 NOON AND 8PM, WMS GYM

Board of Finance "deliberation" added in a 5th day for Senior Center...will ATBM confirm this???  By default, yes.  No quorum on April 23, 2014.

REGISTRARS WANT TO REMIND PUBLIC OF PROCESS FOR THE APRIL 23RD ANNUAL TOWN BUDGET MEETING AND REFERENDUM ON MAY 1ST
The Weston Registrars of Voters, Laura Smits and Theresa Brasco, would like the public to be aware of changes in the voting  process for the ATBM due to Weston Charter Revision approved in November 2012.  As in the past, the ATBM will be held in the Weston High School auditorium  beginning at 8:00p.m. Check-in will begin at 7:15 for qualified voters who intend to participate in
the Annual Town Budget Meeting. Qualified voters include registered voters as well as U.S. citizens on the Weston Grand List owning property of $1,000 or more. The Registrars request that voters remember to bring identification (driver’s license, credit card,  utility bill, etc.) with them to expedite the process.  Once the budget numbers have been established by the ATBM, voters will have  an opportunity to vote that evening on the budget by machine (referendum) in the Weston High School Library.  At that time, voters will be given a ballot and checked off the list as having voted. For those unable to vote that evening, referendum voting will continue on Thursday, May 1st in the Weston Middle School gymnasium from 12:00 pm until 8:00 pm. Voters can also vote by absentee ballot beginning on Thursday, April 24 thin the Town Clerk’s office during regular business hours: Monday-Friday,  9:00 am until 4:30 pm. Once voting has ended on May 1st, the Moderator will read the combined results of both voting sessions.




CHECK THE NEW CHARTER DATES HERE
A tough budget year for Weston
Weston FORUM
By Kimberly Donnelly on January 15, 2014

Weston First Selectman Gayle Weinstein has no illusions about the municipal budget being developed for the next fiscal year. “It’s a tough budget year. It’s going to be ugly,” she said.

After enjoying several years of a “flat” budget — with little to no increase — this year, taxpayers will undoubtedly see the overall budget go up, which means taxes will increase.

In addition, the town is undergoing revaluation of all property, and Ms. Weinstein said the preliminary numbers are showing a significant decrease in the grand list — perhaps as much as 12%. However, she said, “we thought there was going to be a much worse drop in value, so we were actually pleasantly surprised.”

The official grand list numbers are usually calculated by the beginning of February.

Taxpayers are also facing some overruns already in the current year’s budget, which may impact next year’s. The schools have reported a possible half-million-dollar shortage due largely to unanticipated special education costs and security costs. The Police Department is also looking at cost overruns because of increased time demands for patrolling School Road (dubbed the Mile of Safety) and investigating several complex cases this year.

And so the budget season — that time of year when department heads and school administrators are crunching numbers, looking for savings while still lobbying for improvements — is in full swing in Weston.


[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the Weston FORUM website]




What's up for Budget Process FY'15?  Below is an article from the FORUM
Weston municipal budget process gets under way
Weston FORUM
By Kimberly Donnelly on December 16, 2013

At a recent forum on the way Weston’s government is organized, First Selectman Gayle Weinstein gave an overview of Weston’s budget process.

Ms. Weinstein acknowledged that the “New England form of government” can be confusing, especially because things like the municipal budget process is slightly different in every town.

Town budget

In Weston, the town budget process begins about this time of year (late November and early December), Ms. Weinstein said, when town departments are given general parameters and are asked to develop budgets for the next fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30.

Initial department budgets are submitted to the town administrator. Then the head of each department meets with the town administrator, the first selectman, and the finance director to review the budget request and to decide if adjustments need to be made.

When department budgets are finalized, they are combined into the town budget, which the first selectman brings to the Board of Selectmen, which votes to approve a budget to send to the Board of Finance.

The finance board vets the town budget, holds a public hearing to get feedback, then votes on a final budget to bring to the Annual Town Budget Meeting (ATBM) for a vote.

School budget

Ms. Weinstein explained that the school board has a similar budget process.

School principals meet with department heads, then the superintendent and schools finance director meet with the principals to develop initial budgets.

The school board then holds budget workshops to review the department and individual school budget requests. The board then votes to approve a budget, which then goes to the Board of Selectmen for review.

The selectmen do not have the power to reduce or increase the school budget; they may only make recommendations before sending it to the finance board for review.


[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the Weston FORUM website]




FROM THE NEW CHARTER:
ARTICLE 9
FINANCE AND TAXATION

Section 9.1 Preliminary Budget Estimates

All budget requests shall be made on or before January 14th of each year, except that the Board of Education request shall be made on or before February 3rd. These requests shall be filed with the First Selectman and shall contain a detailed estimate of expenditures and revenues, other than tax revenues, in the ensuing Fiscal Year. Except for the request by the Board of Education, such estimates shall be accompanied by a statement setting forth, in such form as the First Selectman may prescribe, the services, activities and work accomplished during the current Fiscal Year and to be accomplished during the ensuing Fiscal Year.

Section 9.2 Duties of the First Selectman on the Budget
The First Selectman shall compile preliminary estimates for the Town’s operating budget, the Board of Education’s operating budget, the capital improvement budget and the Town’s debt service (which shall be referred to collectively as the “Annual Town Budget”) for the ensuing Fiscal Year. Not later than February 10th of each year, the First Selectman shall present to the Board of Selectmen a proposed budget consisting of:
(a) a budget message outlining the proposed financial policy of the Town government, describing the important features of the proposed Annual Town Budget, indicating any major changes from the current Fiscal Year in financial policies, expenditures and revenues together with the reasons for such changes, and containing a clear summary of the Annual Town Budget’s contents;
(b) estimates of revenue, including the receipts collected in the last completed Fiscal Year, the receipts collected during the current Fiscal Year prior to the time of preparing the estimates, the receipts estimated to be collected during the current Fiscal Year, estimates of the receipts, other than from the property tax, to be collected in the ensuing Fiscal Year, and an estimate of the then available surplus; and
(c) itemized expenditures for each Town department and each Board and Commission for the last completed Fiscal Year, expenditures for the current Fiscal Year prior to the time of preparing the estimates, total estimated expenditures for the current Fiscal Year, and the First Selectmen’s recommendations for the ensuing Fiscal Year for all items except those of the Board of Education, which the First Selectman shall transmit to the Selectmen as submitted to the First Selectman by the Board of Education. The First Selectman shall present reasons for all of the First Selectman’s recommendations.  As part of the budget of the First Selectman, the First Selectman may present a program previously considered and acted upon by the Town Planning and Zoning Commission, in accordance with Section 8-24 of the General Statutes, of proposed municipal improvement projects for the ensuing Fiscal Year and for at least the five Fiscal Years thereafter. Estimates of the costs of such projects shall be submitted annually in the form and manner prescribed by the First Selectman. The First Selectman shall recommend to the Board of Selectmen those capital projects to be undertaken during the ensuing Fiscal Year and the method of financing same.

Section 9.3 Duties of the Board of Selectmen on the Budget
The Board of Selectmen shall review the First Selectman’s proposed Annual Town Budget, including the proposed budget of the Board of Education. The proposed Annual Town Budget, including such alterations or changes deemed necessary by the Board of Selectmen, shall be presented to the Board of Finance not later than March 1 of each year. The proposed Annual Town Budget shall include the budget proposal of the Board of Education, but any changes to the Board of Education’s proposed budget as may desired by the Board of Selectmen shall be in the form of recommendations only.

Section 9.4 Duties of the Board of Finance on the Budget
(a) After the Board of Finance has received from the Board of Selectmen the recommended Annual Town Budget, the Board of Finance shall hold one or more public hearings at least two weeks before the date of the Annual Town Budget Meeting, at which any Qualified Voter may be heard regarding the recommended appropriations for the ensuing Fiscal Year. At least ten days in advance of any such public hearing, the Board of Finance shall give Public Notice of such public hearing, together with the proposed appropriations of the Board of Selectmen and the proposed appropriations of the Board of Education, in condensed form.  Sufficient copies of the proposed appropriations shall be made available for general distribution in the office of the Town Clerk, online and at the public hearing. At the public hearing the First Selectman shall present the recommendations of the Board of Selectmen regarding the composition of the Annual Town Budget and the individual appropriations comprising the Budget for the ensuing Fiscal Year.
(b) After the public hearing(s) the Board of Finance shall make such revisions to the proposed appropriations as the Board of Finance deems advisable and shall thereafter recommend the proposed appropriations (as revised by the Board of Finance, if applicable) to the Annual Town Budget Meeting.

Section 9.5 The Annual Town Budget Meeting
(a) The Annual Town Budget Meeting shall be held not later than the end of the first full week in May of each year. It shall be called to order at 8 PM and, if it has not completed its business by 11:30 PM, the moderator shall adjourn the Meeting to 8 PM of successive evenings (adjourning at 11:30 PM if necessary) excepting Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, until its business is completed. Public Notice of the Notice and Call of the Annual Town Budget Meeting shall be published at least five days prior to the Meeting. The published and posted Notice and Call shall be accompanied by the proposed appropriations, in condensed form, as recommended by the Board of Finance for the ensuing Fiscal Year.
(b) The Town Clerk shall ensure that sufficient copies of the proposed appropriations are made available for general distribution in the office of the Town Clerk at least five days prior to the Annual Town Budget Meeting and at that Meeting.
(c) The Notice and Call of the Annual Town Budget Meeting shall:
(i) list the line items that the Meeting is legally entitled to amend, namely, the appropriations in Board of Selectmen’s proposed operating budget, the Board of Education’s proposed operating budget (as one line item) and the capital improvement
budget ;
(ii) set forth the Town’s debt service budget;
(iii) state the proposed rate of taxation, indicating the portion attributable to uncollectable taxes, for the ensuing Fiscal Year;
(iv) state in its preamble who is legally entitled to vote at the Annual Town Budget Meeting;
(v) specify the circumstances under which, and the manner in which, the proposed budgets may be reduced at the Annual Town Budget Meeting; and
(vi) contain any other information required by the General Statutes or the Charter.   Sufficient copies of the Notice and Call shall be made available for general distribution in the office of the Town Clerk, online and at the Annual Town Budget Meeting.
(d) The Annual Town Budget Meeting shall consider, discuss and take action on the proposed appropriations as follows:
(i) no appropriation shall be made exceeding that for the same purpose recommended by the Board of Finance, or for any other purpose not recommended by the Board of Finance;
(ii) if, and only if, 130 Qualified Voters are present at the Annual Town Meeting, any individual appropriation that is listed on the Notice and Call of the Meeting may be reduced to an amount less than that recommended by the Board of Finance by a vote of a majority of those Qualified Voters present and voting. Any motion to reduce the sum of appropriations in the proposed Annual Town Budget must specify the individual line item to be reduced and the amount of the proposed reduction; and
(iii) the consideration of any proposed decrease in any individual appropriation pursuant to Section 9.5(d)(ii) above shall be by secret ballot if requested by a number of Qualified Voters equal to not less than one-third of those Qualified Voters present at the Meeting.

Section 9.6 The Annual Town Budget Referendum
Voting on the proposed Annual Town Budget, as approved by the Annual Town Meeting, shall be by machine voting. There shall be separate votes on the following components of the Annual Town Budget:
(i) the Town’s proposed operating budget,
(ii) the Board of Education’s proposed operating budget and
(iii) the proposed capital improvement budget.
The voting shall commence immediately after the Annual Town Budget Meeting and shall continue that day as long as necessary, in the judgment of the Registrars of Voters, to accommodate all those seeking to cast votes at that time. Voting shall recommence between seven and fourteen days following the Annual Town Budget Meeting, and shall occur during the hours permitted by Section 7-7 of the General Statutes. Each component of the proposed Annual Town Budget set forth above shall be approved if a majority of Qualified Voters who vote approve that component. At the discretion of the Board of Selectmen, the ballot may permit any Qualified Voters who wish to reject a proposed component or components of the Annual Town Budget to indicate whether they would reject the proposed component(s) because they are too high or because they are too low.

Section 9.7 Procedure if the Budget is Rejected
(a) If one or more components the proposed Annual Town Budget are not approved pursuant to Section 9.6, the component(s) of proposed Budget that have not been approved shall be reconsidered by the Board of Finance and such component(s) shall be resubmitted to Qualified Voters between ten and twenty-one days after the date the machine voting was completed under Section 9.6. Voting shall occur by machine ballot, and Public Notice of such vote shall be given at least five days prior to the date of the vote. The resubmitted
proposed component(s) of the Annual Town Budget shall be approved if a majority of Qualified Voters who vote approve such component(s). At the discretion of the Board of Selectmen, the ballot may permit any Qualified Voters who wish to reject a component or components of the proposed Annual Town Budget to indicate whether they would reject the proposed component(s) because they are too high or because they are too low.
(b) Should any component of the proposed Annual Town Budget be rejected again, the process described in Section 9.7(a) shall be repeated with respect to that component until the Annual Town Budget is approved.
(c) In the event that the Annual Town Budget has not been adopted by July 1 of any year, the budget appropriations of the previous Fiscal Year shall serve as an interim budget to allow for the continued operation of Town services, and the Board of Selectmen, with the approval of the Board of Finance, from month to month thereafter until the Annual Town
Budget has been approved, may meet the obligations of the Town in accordance with said interim budget
(i) by borrowing funds by way of tax anticipation notes,
(ii) by taxation at a mill rate set by resolution of the Board of Selectmen,
(iii) by drawing upon funds in possession of the Town, or
(iv) by a combination of two or more of these means;  provided that if option (i) or option (ii), or a combination of them, is utilized, then within ten days after the Annual Town Budget has been approved the mill rate shall be fixed sufficient to fund the total anticipated obligations of the Town during the remainder of the Fiscal Year, including the repayment of all tax anticipation notes outstanding.

Section 9.8 Filing the Approved Budget
An official copy of the Annual Town Budget as finally approved shall be filed by the Board of Finance with the Town Clerk within one week following final approval. Within ten
days after the approval of the Annual Town Budget, the Board of Finance shall, by resolution, fix the tax rate in mills that shall be levied on the taxable property in the Town for the applicable Fiscal Year.



Guide to Weston's Budget Process On-Line

Town Meeting - The Town Meeting form of government is a link with history. It grew out of decision-making used in the American colonies over 300 years ago. It is the purist form of democrary - one person, one vote - and is used in a majority of municipalities in Connecticut. Under the Town Meeting form of government, every qualified voter is a legislator of the town. The major legislative power of the town is vested in the Town Meeting. The remaining legislative power is vested in the Board of Selectmen.

Qualified Voters for Town Meeting - All registered Weston voters are members of the Town Meeting. In addition, U.S. citizens 18 years or older, who own property in Weston assessed at $1000 or more, but are not registered voters, may participate and vote. ACTION at the Town Meeting is taken by a majority of qualified voters present and voting.

Annual Town Budget Meeting (ATBM) - The purpose of the Annual Town Budget Meeting is to achieve a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The Town Budget consists of the Selectmen's Budget (line items for each town agency and service), the Board of Education Budget (which is one line item), and the Capital Budget (items from all agencies and the Board of Education which cost over $10,000 and with a life expectancy of 10 years or more). The last is reviewed by the Capital Planning Committee, an informal, advisory committee of the First Selectman.

NOTE:  the amount may have been raised



Ken Edgar Citizen of the Year, award from Police Commission (Chair. Rick Phillip);  Reminder of Public Hearing on new Charter April 25th
ATBM over in a flash!  Maybe an hour?  (89 people attended) - Referendum April 12  More turned out for Referendum - 364 (it [both budgets] passed)


FY  '13 BUDGET PROCESS SCHEDULE:

WHERE ARE WE NOW?  On to ATBM April 4, REFERENDUM April 12..

As described below, the schedule for reviewing and voting on the 2012-13 budget was approved by the selectmen with no changes.  Last Friday, Nov. 18, budget packages were mailed to all municipal departments, which must return their budget requests to the town administrator by Thursday, Dec. 15.
  • Department heads meet with the first selectman, the finance director and the town administrator the first week of January 2012. Revisions are due Thursday, Jan. 12.
  • The town and school budgets must be submitted to the Board of Selectmen by the end of January.
  • The Board of Selectmen is scheduled to review the town budget on Monday, Feb. 13, and the school budget on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The selectmen vote on both budgets (MISTAKE - they have no control over the Education budget) at their Thursday, Feb. 16 meeting.
  • The Board of Finance will review the town budget Monday, March 5, and the school budget Wednesday, March 7.
  • A public hearing on both budgets will be held Tuesday, March 13, at Weston Middle School at 8 p.m. On Thursday, March 22, the finance board deliberates and votes on the final budget to go to voters.
  • The Annual Town Budget Meeting (ATBM) is set for Wednesday, April 4, at 8 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The ATBM-approved budgets go to referendum on Thursday, April 12.  Board of Finance meets later to set mill rate.


WESTON BUDGET REVIEW CYCLE FY'13


Annual Town Budget Meeting: Weston voters have their say Wednesday

Weston FORUM
Written by Patricia Gay
Wednesday, 28 March 2012 10:59

About the ATBM

Who: All registered Weston voters and Weston taxpayers with at least $1,000 assessed value of property who are U.S. citizens over the age of 18
What: Annual Town Budget Meeting (ATBM)
When: Wednesday, April 4, 8PM
Where: Weston High School auditorium
Why: To approve the $65-million town, school, capital, and debt service budget proposals; capital and debt service budgets will be final, while school and town budgets approved at ATBM will go to a machine vote Thursday, April 12.

Weston’s Annual Town Budget Meeting (ATBM) is set for next Wednesday, April 4, at 8 p.m. in the Weston High School auditorium.  Voters are being asked to consider a $65,047,232 gross budget for 2012-13, an overall increase of $1,088,644, up 1.70% from the current year’s budget. That includes:

• The town operating budget of $11,408,552 (a 2.01% increase from the current budget)
• The school operating budget of $45,587,192 (a 0.93% increase)
• A total debt service budget of $6,649,705 (a 1.46% decrease from the current budget)
• A total capital budget of $1,401,783 ($1,147,000 town, $470,238 schools, less $215,455 in revenue offsets) is a 36.49% increase from the current budget.
• The total gross budget is expected to be offset by revenues of $2,668,566, making the net budget $62.378 million, a 1.36% increase over the current net budget.

“This is your chance to participate in democracy,” said First Selectman Gayle Weinstein. “The budget concerns one of the most important bills you will pay this year — your taxes — and you deserve to have a voice in the process.”

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the Weston FORUM website]




ONLINE FIRST: Weston Board of Finance sends budget to ATBM

Weston FORUM
Written by Patricia Gay
Thursday, 22 March 2012 15:42

The Weston Board of Finance voted on final proposed town, school and capital budgets to send to the voters.

At a budget meeting held Wednesday, March 21, the board approved a proposed town operating budget of $11,408,552, a 2.01% increase over the current year.

That number is $16,000 less than proposed by the selectmen, and comes from an increase in a revenue offset from an enterprise fund.

The selectmen had proposed taking $122,000 from the town’s cell tower enterprise fund to help pay for operating the communications center. The finance board voted to increase the revenue offset to $138,000. This lowers the proposed increase in the town operating budget from 2.16% to 2.01%.

The finance board approved the school operating budget exactly as proposed by the Board of Education, at $45,587,192, a 0.93% increase over the current year.


[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the Weston FORUM website]



MOST RECENTLY APPROVED BUDGET





Previous Charter said...
Countdown to the Annual Town Budget Meeting (ATBM)

All Town Agency Meetings mentioned below (Boards, Commissions and Committees) are open to the public. 
The dates mentioned below come from the CHARTER.                                                        

In late November the Board of Education invites public input as the budget assumptions and enrollment projections are discussed.
Before January 14th, citizens may submit suggested additions for the First Selectman's budget to the Town Administrator. All Town Agencies except the Board of Education submit estimates to the First Selectman. The Board of Education, in early January "review" meetings, adopts its budget; after this time the school budget cannot be raised.
By January 14 proposed Capital Budget items must be submitted.  For complete details of the budget process, see the Town Charter and the Moderator's Handbook, available at Town Hall.
By February 3rd the Board of Education submits a preliminary budget to the First Selectman.  Prior to this time, the Board of Education has approved its own budget. ONCE PASSED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, THE SCHOOL BUDGET CANNOT BE RAISED.
By February 10th the First Selectman presents the proposed Town Budget to the Board of Selectmen.  (REMINDER:  THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN HAS NO POWER TO REDUCE THE EDUCATION BUDGET BY CHARTER)...
By February 25th the Board of Selectmen presents the proposed preliminary Town Budget to the Board of Finance. After this time, the Selectmen's budget cannot be raised. Changes desired by the Board of Selectmen to the budget proposal of the Board of Education can be in the form of a recommendation only.
In early March, the Board of Finance reviews the Town Budget.  THE BOARD OF EDUCATION'S BUDGET WILL BE REVIEWED...
In late March or early April--at least two weeks before the Annual Town Budget Meeting (ATBM)...\
The Board of Finance holds one or more Public Hearings on the Board of Education Budget, the Selectmen's Budget and the Capital Budget.  After Public Hearing (s), the Board of Finance may "revise" any budget line as it deems advisable.  This has been traditionally been interpreted as "reduce".
At least five days before the Annual Town Budget Meeting notice of the "call" of ATBM is published in a local newspaper and copies of the proposed Town Budget and tax rate are available at the Town Clerk's Office.
No later than April 22nd the Annual Town Budget Meeting (8pm to no later than 11:30pm [8:30pm to no later than 11pm]--if business is not concluded before 11:30pm[11pm], ATBM reconvenes the following night [s]). After ten days, if there has been no challenge, the budget is deemed adopted. The ATBM can only APPROVE or REDUCE any line item proposed by the Board of Finance.


Budget Challenge Procedures...before and after the ATBM...
Get a copy of the LWV of Weston pamphlet at the Town Clerk's Office--this is really complicated!!!  No matter how it happens--either before or after the Annual Town Budget Meeting--a challenge "to the machines" to vote in private on the budget will always require a return to Town Meeting...which has the final word!  See Charter Revision Commission'a now approved changes (#2 and #3).


Special Appropriation Procedures After ATBM

Additional Appropriations - Up to $5000 for any agency may be made by the Board of Selectmen. Total for all agencies not to exceed $50,000 per year.
Supplemental Appropriations - May be made by the Board of Selectmen with the approval of the Board of Finance, provided the total sum does not exceed 2% of the current tax levy in any fiscal year.
Extraordinary Appropriations - May be applied for by any town agency to both the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance.  If not approved by either Board, the agency may request a Special Town Meeting. At such Town Meeting a minimum of 10% of qualified town voters is required to take action. A majority of that 10% is required to pass the extraordinary expense.  If a petition for a machine vote (Ct. General Statutes Section 7.7 required 200 signatures) is filed against the Call of such Town Meeting, after discussion, the Town Meeting is adjourned and a machine vote is held not less than 7 or more than 14 days thereafter. A majority of 10% of all qualified voters is needed to pass the appropriation.




RESOURCES:  Charter Revision of 2011-12 passed on a yes-no vote.


Town Charter (on-line version--Charter Revision in 2003:  ATBM now begins at 8pm, one half hour earlier and ends at 11:30pm, one half hour later); Administrative Code and copies of the LWV of Weston publication available at the Town Clerk's Office in Weston Town Hall.

Please find here the WfFR Symposium (Oct. 20, 2010) report in the Weston FORUM newspaper of  October 28, 2010.



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